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12 (Legal) Ways to Get High

Many things are uncertain right now, not just here in Montreal, but also In the US & around the world,everyone is trying to cope, it’s one crisis after another.  If that wasn’t enough, all this uncertainty is giving rise to dangerous times of solitude & depression. The first thing many of us want to do is grab a drink or a smoke to numb everything & let it pass. This might only be making things worse. The human body is complex and intelligent & it really does not need artificial stimuli from the outside world.  It creates its own chemicals in the brain to make you happy. I would like to suggest a few alternatives to help you activate these natural happy chemicals!

Please keep this list close to you, somewhere everyone can see it – by your phone, on your desk or even on your fridge & share, share, share! My goal is to help you get this kind of high as often as possible!!!

1. Get high on colours

Our world is filled with colours, however many of us don’t realize how many ways they can impact our lives. Colours can influence our behaviour & wellbeing, with different colours having a different effect.

Pink is a calming & reassuring colour – it has even been used in prisons to calm inmates.

Blue is peaceful & calm. It can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety & even slow your heart rate!  You just have to look up to notice how a blue sky affects our mood.

Green seems to make positive emotions stronger & negative emotions weaker.

Red, on the other hand, can amplify negativity. We have enough of that in our lives, so it can be best to avoid this colour.

Check out my interview on The Survival Show with 1 of the 100 world color experts, Marie-Chantal Milette!

2. Get high on nature

When I was a kid my mother didn’t let me play inside, meaning I spent my days outside in the fresh air. When we are kids our sense of wonder is on overload watching all the discoveries nature has to offer us. Isn’t that what we’re looking for when we run from the city to the country any weekend we can? Go to the forest, to the park, to the blue of the water and the sky & the green of the trees – the fresh air can only do you good!  Besides, remember that green seems to make positive emotions stronger!!!

Woman in pink jacket posing in front of autumnal nature background

3. Get high on exercise

Have you ever wondered why so many people run? Maybe they’re all hooked on the runner’s high! The latest research indicates that the so-called ‘runner’s high’ is likely caused by two endogenous chemicals: beta-endorphin, an endogenous opioid involved in pain reduction and relaxation. So walk, bike, dance, run, do push ups …just keep moving, no matter how small your step seems. All great athletes started with just one step. Take that first step!

4. Get high on knowledge

Read books, learn a skill, learn a new language, brush up on your history. You will be amazed how much you can find on Google & Youtube, as well as by how much new information your brain can take in!

5. Get high on art

Smiling woman doing an art project

Art is therapeutic – in fact, art therapy is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.  Both creating art and viewing art created by others can be used to help people explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem and work on social skills!

Paint an old piece of furniture, write, sing, dance, recite poems, take pictures, cook, paint a canvas, colour in a new colouring book, paint by numbers, or visit a famous art gallery on line! You can also check out the Transform Art episode of The Survival Show here.

Visit Omer DeSerres for more ideas!

6. Get high on good old fashioned board games

Remember that feeling when you were a kid right before making a great move in a game? That feeling of being totally submerged in the experience? All the stress goes away, you’re in a different zone!  Play with the whole family, no matter how old your kids are. There are games to suit everyone’s age and interests!

A few of my favourites are Twister, Catch Phrase, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, Scattergories, and Monopoly.

Check out Jeux Divertioz for more board game inspiration!

7. Get high on animals

Stop staring at a screen, go outside and check out the birds, squirrels, rabbits and ducks. Maybe even offer to walk the neighbor’s dog. If you decide to get a pet reflect first and know that it is not temporary, it’s for life – their life. Pets really do enhance your life in so many ways, even in terms of your health! They have been found to lower blood pressure, cholesterol level & decrease levels of loneliness in their humans. You can also volunteer or help save a life by considering adopting from an animal shelter, such as the SPCA. Check the web for more shelters in your area.

Woman smiling with dog

8. Get high on humour

Go ahead, release those beta endorphins!  Read jokes on the web, rent comedy shows on Netflix, and check out YouTube for some hilarious comedians. My all-time, laugh-out-loud favourite shows include Black-ish, Friends, Seinfeld, Sex in the City, and Cheers. Let me know what you think if you decide to check any of them out!

9. Get high on smiles

Yes, a simple smile to someone at the grocery store or the bus stop goes a long way!  Smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits. That is probably why that old Coke commercial was so popular: “have a coke & a smile!”

Woman in white jacket smiing

10. Get high on music

Chances are you’ve had an experience where you hear a song & you get goose bumps or chills. Science has confirmed the existence of the euphoric music-induced “chills.”  An article featured on Get Healthy Stay Healthy suggests that music is good for improving mood, reducing stress, lessening anxiety, improving exercise, improving memory, easing pain, providing comfort, improving cognition, helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, soothing premature babies, and so much more. Frankly, they had me at ‘improving mood’ – music certainly has this effect on me all the time!

Try giving some Canadian artists a listen. Some of my favourites are Diana Krall, Rufus Wainwright, Drake, Shawn Mendes, and Eli Rose (Carrousel) & Coeur de Pirate!

If you are with Videotron & you would like to discover music from Quebec, check out their QUB Musique service.

You can also go on Spotify & make yourself your own uplifting playlist!

11. Get high on slowing down

Try out yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation.

Yoga can help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind, as well as reduce your feelings of stress.

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art literally translated as ‘Supreme Ultimate Force’. It became popular in China due to its various health benefits and was promoted across the country to help elderly people keep up with their mental, physical and energetic health.

Meditation is the practice of focused concentration and has been known to reduce stress, whether positive or negative. It also reduces anxiety, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s really the science of staying still. Light a candle, stare at it, and try to think of the flame and nothing else. Sound simple? Good luck! Leave a comment letting me know how it goes.

12. Get high on giving

Charity can boost both mental & physical health. Research shows that those who volunteer live longer & happier lives. You will experience lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, less anxiety and depression, and increased self-esteem.  It’s not about the quantity, or how much you can give. You can call someone, go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbour, cook cookies for a friend…the possibilities are endless!

 

Just don’t get high on fear, drugs, booze & negativity, because they tend to make things much worse. Get going by looking over these 12 ideas, picking your favourite one for the day and dropping me a line to tell me how it goes. I would really love to hear from you!

Stay home & stay safe,

LiZ

Lionzest

 

If you want to see our latest articles – lists full of tips, inspiration & motivation – subscribe to our newsletter!

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.

 

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A Master Class on Resilience

The Return of Isolation, or: A Master Class on Resilience!

The Premier of Quebec has spoken – it’s time for everyone to go back home & stay safe.

Frankly, when all this started, I was watching Legault religiously every day for 4 months. I felt ready to attack anything in the morning but after watching the press conference at 1:30pm, I felt a significant drop in energy & I had a hard time concentrating. Something in my head could not process. I repeated to myself: “everything is going to be okay”, but a little negative voice followed… “or is it?”

I decided that I had to stop cold turkey and cut myself off from all the bad news to save my sanity. That’s exactly what I did when June came around. Unconsciously I thought to myself ‘it’s nice outside, summer is coming, school’s out, the sun and the heat are here, it is going to be okay, like I said’ …unconsciously.

The Survival Show

In March when things sounded really bad, I wanted to make a difference. I could not run to hospitals to offer my help so I decided to do what I do best: communicate & promote great people. It started with an idea of a show where everyone would tell their story & give their top 3 survival tips.  I called it “The Survival Show”. This show was a dream I’ve had for a very long time. I’m a PR girl.  I meet tons of amazing people & I was dreaming of a platform, a media to make them shine.  The dream had just been sleeping inside my head & Covid woke it up.

 It started with a test drive with my sister (Boutique Josyben) & my friend Paul, an amazing investment teacher.  Michael Wallace (business coach at Fascinnovation) gave me the push I needed, telling me to “stop testing & just do it!” I’m so grateful to Michael for giving me that little push I needed – it’s no wonder you are a great coach to so many business people! Take a look at our interview here.

Laurie from OM Creative was next up. She spoke about life storms, what she learned while suffering from Lyme disease & what we can all learn from life storms.

Melissa Dawn, who you might have seen on morning TV, taught us how to be the CEO of our own lives.

Marie-Chantal Millette, one of the 100 colour experts in the world, gave a lesson on how to use colours to help impact our day to day. She did this all while feeding her newborn son, demonstrating another gift from Covid: truly authentic moments!

Laur Fugère, a performer, voice coach, and ex singer in big productions like Cats, Les Misérables & Le Cirque du Soleil, almost made me cry. Watch for my moving chin in the video. You can see me trying to keep it all in but with great difficulty as I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of her voice. Tell me you don’t feel the same when you hear her sing at the end of her interview?!

Daniele Soaré, first woman to work on the Toronto Stock Exchange, had it all: a luxurious life, big hotels & limousines. She left it all to live in Montreal offering her services as a Financial Coach.  Seeing how zen she is, it seems like it was a great choice that has given her a much more rewarding life!

Marie-Reine from Face Yoga Passion told us how facial yoga can help us feel better & look better! Learn more here.

Martine Lafontaine, who became a Mourning Counselor after the tragic death of her child, tells us about the fact that 95% of people have unresolved grief.  We live difficult chapters of our lives and we often think we have moved on when in reality, we’re not quite there yet.

Frankly, I find all my guests amazing.  I wish I could tell you about all 30 of them. Everyone has a story, something we can learn from. All of them offer their top 3 tips to you in my Survival Show series.

I have a favour to ask.  Please head over to the Lionzest YouTube channel, click on one of the videos & watch it.  Like them, comment on them.  Pleasssseeee give me suggestions below on what you would like in the next season of The Survival Show – your feedback lets me know how I can improve to bring you better content!

I am working on interviews to help new entrepreneurs & interviews to help you keep a healthy body and mind. I am preparing these right now & I can’t wait to introduce to you some more incredible guests so you can hear their stories & tips!

So yes, the bad news is that “stay home stay safe” is back, but there’s always a bright side. The good news is this: you are not alone, I am right here with you, trying to figure out new ways to get a message of hope to you!

Oops! I almost forgot – stay tuned to see my whole new look (new name, new branding, new blogs). I’m sure you’re going to loveeee it!  Keep an eye on my Instagram as well, where you’ll be able to keep up with my latest videos.

Stay home & stay safe,

LiZ

Lionzest

 

If you want to see our latest articles – lists full of tips, inspiration & motivation – subscribe to our newsletter!

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.

 

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Top 18 Ways To Escape Without Leaving Quebec This Summer

While this summer may look different than we had imagined, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to explore the places we call home! I’ve travelled across Canada before & I know we have many beauuuutiful places that we often take for granted, starting with my incredible province – Québec!

Top 18 Ways To Escape Without Leaving Quebec This Summer:

 

1. Go to Provence without leaving Quebec

Lavender Fields

When you picture lush lavender fields you may be thinking about France, but what you might not have known is that we have them right here in Quebec! You can find them less than an hour from Montreal at Maison Lavande in Saint-Eustache, or venture a little further out to Bleu Lavande in Stanstead. In addition to its beauty and calming effects, these lavender fields are the perfect place for a summer photoshoot!

2. California vibes…(wellll, close enough):

Have you ever tried paddle boarding? If not, now’s the perfect time! At Sup Montreal you can rent a board, take lessons or participate in a planned excursion. Paddle boarding is super fun and a great workout – the perfect way to spend a hot summer day.

3. Unwind at the largest outdoor spa in North America

Improve your health & relax at Nordik, the largest spa in North America! Be sure to reserve in advance to take advantage of their wide array of massages, body care treatments and rituals. You can also visit the little village of Chelsea while you’re there!

4. A walk & swim in the park

Specifically, Parc de la Mauricie! With over 150 lakes and a variety of activities offered from canoeing and hiking to camping overnight, there’s so much to do and see here.

5. A bike ride & wine

Brome-Missiquoi’s wine route is home to 20 vineyards, 21 restaurants and 4 routes to drive or cycle! Reserve in advance if you want to join a guided tour and come ready to be wow-ed by Quebec’s wine culture.

6. Drive-in – just like the good old days, but better

Retro is back in style, and drive-ins are no exception! This is a great way to spend a summer night while following social distancing regulations. Now all you have to do is decide if you’re team rom-com or action.

7. All about the birds & the stars at Parc Mégantic

Take part in the park’s astronomy activities or see what birds you can spot while you hike. Make sure to buy your access right online before heading to this amazing National Park!

8. Sleep with wolves

Spend the night in Parc Omega’s Wolf Cabin, marveling at the panoramic views of these fascinating canines. The cabin can sleep up to 4 people and is fully equipped with everything you need for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

9. Take a kitesurfing or windsurfing lesson

Ever wanted to learn how to wakeboard, snowboard, surf, or sail? How about you combine them all into one sport and take a kitesurfing or windsurfing lesson?! This extreme sport is guaranteed to thrill you – and we think there’s no better way to spend a summer day than out on the water.

10. Golf initiation

Golf courses are a great getaway! Take a golf lesson at a nice course that you don’t need to be a member of to get a taste for the sport.

11. OSM Classical flight from your car:

Drive to the Trudeau airport but try another type of flight! On August 5th, check out the OSM’s Classical Flight Benefit concert for a night of incredible music supporting the Orchestra’s mission of music accessibility and education.

12. How about a concert on a lake

Two musicians on a raft in a lake

You can hire Quebecois singer Stéphanie Bédard for a private concert at your cottage by the lake! This is a great option for those looking to do something special this summer.

13. For a longer road trip

Though the drive is long, it is completely worth it to experience the beauty of Les Iles de la Madeleine! Discover the nature, flavours and culture of the 8 islands while enjoying a vacation without leaving Quebec.

14. Another long drive with a worthwhile reward

L’Ile d’Anticosti! This is probably the most beautiful place in Quebec and with a range of accommodation and hiking trails, certainly has something for everyone.

15. Almost like flying

If you’ve been missing being up in the air, this could be the activity for you! Spend 1.5 hours among the treetops at Action Tremblant’s zipline adventure. Lines range from 230 feet to over 650 feet long and are sure to satisfy adrenaline seekers!

16. For a magical dinner

Make a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon’s Cabane d’à Côté to enjoy a magnificent orchard picnic featuring a fresh seasonal menu. What better way to enjoy the beauty of Quebec than by sampling some of its finest local products?!

17. Stop at a not so ordinary snack bar by the water

Located in Vaudreil-Dorion, this resto-terrasse is revamping fast food. Satisfy your cravings with a good french-fry or taco at Patate et Persil – we don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

18. Hit the road

Get in your car, put on your favorite Spotify mix, roll down the windows, sing your heart on & drive for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or hours!  You can do the same thing on a bus but you might get a few awkward looks 😊!  Sometimes you don’t have to go far – music can easily transport you to better places.

 

If you want to see our latest articles – lists full of tips, inspiration & motivation – subscribe to our newsletter!

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.

 

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COVID Routine: TOP 15 Tips in my Lionzest Survival Kit

When I was a kid, I hated the idea of ‘routine’ and even just the word itself. I was afraid if I fell into a routine, I would stop being the passionate person that I am, which is the equivalent of happiness to me. Today, with this life storm we are facing, I’m incredibly thankful that I have a routine.

Although it is altered in some ways I feel as though if I didn’t follow this routine, I would not be myself – the girl with the lion inside, the girl with the pink glasses. Today, I thank God for routine!

So here are a few tips for getting through this crazy time. I hope I can help you see through pink glasses too:

TOP 15 Tips in my Lionzest Survival Kit:

 

1. Pet Therapy

I wake up and the first thing I do is pet my cat, which has been proven to be good for my health. Research shows that a cat’s purr not only lowers stress but can also lower blood pressure!!

2. Quotation inspiration

I grab my phone to find a quote that gives me a small boost. I like to share these quotes on my social networks to spread positivity to others. Check out my Lionzest Instagram and Facebook and let me know if any inspire you!

3. Accomplishment #1

I make my bed. If I don’t accomplish much (or anything) during the day, at least I know I made my bed! It also makes my room look cleaner and when I turn in for the night it feels like a little retreat.

4. Finding my zen

Meditation with the app Let’s Meditate.  I love it because I can do it in bed and the app lets you pick a theme and a duration. Go for 5 minutes, 14 minutes, 42 minutes…You decide! Some of the themes you can choose from are: Beginner’s Guide, Attract Abundance, Ease Urgencies, and Confidence. There is a theme for everyone! I find this lowers my stress, anxiety and helps me focus.

5. Better than coffee

I take a shower. I like to mix it up by starting with a hot shower and ending with a cold shower.  It wakes me up and keeps me from thinking about my troubles since I’m busy wondering if I’ll survive the shower!  That’s not all it does – it also improves circulation, helps treat depression, stimulates weight loss and strengthens your immune system. What’s not to love?!

6. Power suit

I get dressed. I feel more confident and ready to take on the day.  This is important to me because if not I feel depressed and will probably give off those negative vibes to others.

7. The great outdoors

I take a long walk with my dog. I smile and greet a lot of people. I even say “hello” to the drivers alone in their buses!  I feel the breeze on my face, stop at the park and take in all the beauty of the water, the birds, rabbits… I am in another world!  My dog is a good guide – if ever I pass a park or walk too fast, she stops, sits and looks at me.  She is 100 pounds so I have no choice but to listen and slow down. These walks outside help my body release endorphins (the happy hormone!) and increase my intake of vitamin D.  On top of it all, this is often where I solve challenges and get my best business ideas!

8. Drugged with music

I listen to my music on full blast while I walk and sometimes in the kitchen while I make my morning shake. Ideally what I listen to is upbeat and full of happiness! Some of my favourite tunes are Happy, Sun is Shining (Axwell & Ingrosso), Say a Little Prayer, Faith (George Michael) and Love Generation.  What’s on your Spotify playlist?

9. Rendezvous with Frank

I have a daily “rendezvous” with François Legault, our Premier, just to know if this whole thing is over yet. He’s live every day at 1 p.m. to give an update on what’s going on. The TV goes OFF immediately after, around 1:30 p.m. If not, welcome to the abyss of fear and what could happen. Then I wouldn’t have the energy to do anything and I’d probably get that ‘it’s the end of the world’ feeling.  So, the TV goes on at 1pm and off at 1:30!

10. Comfort food

I eat!!! A little too much 😊 – except in the morning, when I take my protein shake with all my vitamins. I’ve tried many shakes and this one (Whole Earth & Sea, made in Canada) is my favourite of all. Lunch is often a salad. In the evening it’s really important that the three of us eat together as a family and have the chance to talk about all kinds of things. I make desserts – there have been a lot of banana breads coming out of my kitchen lately, along with reminders of my childhood (fudge, rice krispie squares, pouding chomeur)!!! I love and need to cook for my family.

11. Reaching out

I make daily calls to friends and family to make sure everything is okay with them. I think most people are in their own little bubbles and afraid to reach out. Maybe they’re scared to disturb people or to hear bad news and not know how to react. My sisters are used to my calls so for them it’s just a nice part of their daily routine. As for my friends, the first thing they always say is: “I am so glad you called”. I hear the gratitude in their voices and in return, it makes me feel good. By taking a small and simple action, I feel as though I have made a difference.

12. Giving back & having purpose

I work, which gives me purpose and helps me feel useful.  I’m currently working on my “Survival Show” video series and I’m having so much fun doing it.  When I’m not helping a client with videos and their image, I feel as though I’m making a difference by introducing amazing people and giving advice on how to survive this ‘thing’ we are all going through.

13. Relaxation time

In the evening: long live Netflix!!!  I’ve finished all the shows I was watching and now I need inspiration – do you have any suggestions for me? For you, here are some of the shows I was hooked on: Modern Love, Peaky Blinders, Morning Show, Last Kingdom, Self Made, The Crown, The Witcher, The Hunters (Al Pacino is amazing!), Unorthodox, David Letterman: My Guest Needs No Introduction, The Bodyguard, Grace & Frankie (hard to believe they’re 80!!), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (probably inspired by Joan Rivers). Let me know if you give any of them a try!

14. Perfect sleep formula

To set myself up for a good sleep, I make a big cup of Sleepytime chamomile herbal tea (the box with the teddy bear on it!), and I also take a good quality Magnesium supplement. This is my magic recipe – I sleep like a baby afterwards and forget whatever is going on to dream of a better tomorrow!

15. The power of positivity

I try to stay positive all day long.  I think that my positive attitude, music, family and the other tips mentioned above have truly been lifesavers for me!

 

So, the next time you see me radiating bubbly happiness and you wonder if it is all in my DNA, now you know: it’s not, I get a little help every day!

 

Need more help?  I hear you.  I have been working on a series of video interviews to help you get through this.  They are short and will introduce you to amazing, talented experts who will share their stories and their tips.  Please come watch on Facebook & Youtube. Like, comment & share – you might even help brighten someone else’s day!

 

We’re going to be okay. Now that I’ve shared mine, I’d love to hear what your routine is to help you get through this!

 

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.

 

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My Father’s “Why” – Integrity, business and fathers

Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

This is the story of a passionate man. Passionate about work, family and life. What drove this passion? His clear purpose to avenge his father and be a great dad.

This is the story of my father and the events that made him the man he was and me the person that I am.

Born in 1918, he would have been 100 years old this November.

My father was a protector. Probably because of what was once taken from his family. You see, he was very close with his own father, Henri, who tragically passed away when my father

was just 17.

Henri was an entrepreneur with integrity and passion. Peladeau Lumber was his business.

In the 1920’s, when hardly anyone was travelling abroad, Henri imported the latest technology – a machine to make his business run faster and better. He was very avant-garde, always staying one step ahead. Nothing could stop him. At a time when business was monopolized by the English, my French-Canadian grandfather stormed the gates of entrepreneurship in Quebec.

And he made his mark. He went to mass every night, had a golden tongue, lived with integrity and suffered one fatal flaw – that he believed everyone else was honorable, like him.

My grandmother tried to warn him with the wise words, “There are no friends in business.” Sadly, she was right.

My grandfather did business with two people he believed to be friends. People he believed lived with integrity, spoke the truth and were honorable. They were not. And he lost everything as a result.

Shortly after that devastating loss, he died of throat cancer.

My father suffered greatly from the loss of his father, a man he admired, respected and considered his “buddy”.

Henri was generous to a fault, happy to treat the neighborhood children to ice cream while his wife waited anxiously at home for the groceries he had been sent out to buy. In the eyes of my father, Henri was everything he wanted to be. A good person, a good father and a good businessman

When Henri died, many of his so-called “friends” disappeared. When my grandfather had been a rich and healthy man, the family was very popular. When he lost his company and was diagnosed with cancer, it was as if people thought his downfall was contagious. A whole community disappeared.

Sadly, cancer and poverty bring the best and the worst in people.

That experience became the foundation of my father’s character. He became very careful about who he associated with and never granted time to superficial people.

He once said to me, “The most beautiful inheritance is to receive nothing because it gives you the motivation to want to get back what you lost.”

The house in Outremont, the cottage on the waterfront in St-Eustache, the business, his name. My grandfather lost everything except for the love and admiration of his son.

My father started his revenge plan young and followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps. He went to war and, during his stay in England, studied to be an accountant in order to understand figures and ensure nobody ever played him. Then he took a long distance course to learn everything about lumber (this was long before the internet!).

He started work at a leading lumber company, working his way up the ladder to become vice president. Working almost day and night, he ended up in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. When the doctors ordered him to rest, he decided it was the perfect time to open his own business. Against, of course, the advice of the doctor and my mother!

My father’s priority was to put his plan into action; to build his new company from scratch and reclaim his father’s honor. He made a name for himself in the lumber industry and his business thrived because it was built on solid values.

When he turned 86 years old, after living a good life and achieving his purpose, my father left to join his father. But his company continues after more than 60 years, thriving on the same values of commitment and, above all, integrity.

My father’s “why” was to build a company and a life that would have filled his father with pride, as much in family, as in business, as in life.

He wanted more than anything in the world to finish his father’s work of being a great dad and building a great business, both based on solid grounds.

100 years after his birth, the legacy lives on. His why, his purpose, is in Bois Peladeau and in my family’s household. His business partner is now 88 years old and still goes to work everyday because he enjoys what he built with my father so much and now continues to build the future with his son.

In my own business, I keep the legacy strong as well, surrounding myself with people like him and searching out only clients, partners, suppliers and friends with integrity and authenticity. My father was often described as the lion of the family, and I have even infused that into my business. Lions resonate with courage and integrity – the cornerstones of Lionzest. To live with integrity is my grandfather’s inheritance and it is the best inheritance!

Aside from always living with integrity, the greatest lesson my father and grandfather taught me is that a successful business starts with understanding your “why”. Your passion, your purpose is what drives you forward and empowers you to connect with your audience.

This is why, before each video (since the camera does not lie) I ask my clients to be fiercely authentic. That authenticity is what I find most attractive in business and in life, and it’s what resonates with your customers.

What is your “why”? Don’t worry if you’re not clear on it. That’s where I come in. Contact me today. Together, we’ll uncover your “why” and make you shine!

Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Grandfather. Happy Father’s Day, wherever you are!


 

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10 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE, BUSINESS & PUZZLES!

I am a fast paced person. I like when things are exciting and dynamic. It’s why I love working with video. You can create this super short, but super impactful piece of media that delivers facts and feelings quickly and has an immediate impact on the viewer.

But in life and business, it can be good to switch gears from time to time. It helps you get a new perspective, gain clarity and be at your best.

For me, I like to “get away from it all” by doing something really slow, once a year. I try to cut out all electronics and do something that takes patience and time. This activity is something that really isn’t… ‘me’.

I do puzzles.

Yes, you read that right. Me. The woman who can never pass up a party, who loves to take on exciting new challenges, who moves at the speed of light… I do puzzles.

This year, I chose a 1000 piece Beatles puzzle.

Now hear me out, because you would not believe how eye opening puzzles can be! Working on puzzles allows me to explore a part of my brain that I don’t use often and to exercise my patience muscles. I almost feel like I’m using a different set of eyes. Just by putting a puzzle together, I begin to see life and business with a whole new perspective.

Here are 10 lessons from puzzles that have made me better at life and business:

1. When things look chaotic, take a deep breath and just start

When I first dumped 1000 puzzle pieces on the table, my sister, husband and son all quickly reminded me that it was “too much”.

In my own head, I was thinking, “Maybe they’re right! What was I thinking? OMG! Can I return it? Where do I even start??”

But then I just started. I flipped all the pieces right side up and began sorting edges with edges, blue with blue, white with white… pretty quickly that big mess started looking more manageable. More possible. And most importantly, I was doing it. Slowly, and literally piece by piece, I could see my small, deliberate actions having an impact.
I remember once coming out of a meeting with a potential client thinking how much I wanted that client. But the project came with so many challenges: the story, the décor, the coaching… where would I even start? I got every idea on paper, organised it piece by piece, and it quickly became manageable.

In puzzles, life and business, just dive in and get organised!

2. Success = timing + patience

Ok, so there’s more to success than that. But timing and patience are a big part of it.

Sometimes I would get into a “groove” of finding and connecting pieces amazingly fast. Other times the groove slowed down. It is so exhilarating to have one success after another, but when it slows down it is not as easy to continue.

Don’t give up. Sometimes I would try a piece so sure that it would not fit, but to my biggest surprise it did. Try things. Take chances. Have patience. The pieces will come together if you stick with it.

3. Sometimes you have to let the pieces go and keep your eye on the big picture


I had been working on the puzzle for a while. I was almost finished. But the last pieces were hard. There were no more colors, just black and white. I had gone from rapid success, finding one piece after another, to finding nothing. I was discouraged.

So I let it go. I left my project on the table and avoided it for a few days.

But I knew I had to finish. I did not want to hear, “I told you it was too big!” So I took a walk in front of it. No pressure. No commitment. Just looking at it from a distance. No more sitting in front of it.

To my surprise, I could see things from a distance that I could not see up close. I started to find new matching pieces. I was on a roll again!

At work, when I get a creative block, I go for a walk or a workout (or chocolate!). When I come back and can see things from a distance, my creative flow is back again. When you feel stuck, you are not stuck. You just need to step back and see the big picture. Let the pieces go. Step away. Take a walk.

4. Sometimes it’s the big picture, other times it’s the pieces

Not surprisingly, John and Paul’s heads were pretty easy to put together. As were all the other “big picture” parts – the colours, the tickets, the edges, the Fab Four… it all came together nicely.

It was at the very end, when I was left with a large white space to complete, that I struggled. The pieces all looked the same at first. When I started to look more closely at the unique shapes, to see that some were more rounded, others heart shaped and so on, it helped so much.

In business, we often say the details will kill you. I usually start my videos with a storyboard. I put it aside then come back and add to it, bit by bit. I constantly add details to ensure nothing is overlooked. Promotional text can be rewritten, but it is expensive and time consuming to redo a video. The details are critical.

Details will only kill you if you do not pay attention to them. Hurray for details!

5. The right partner can complete you (or your project)

When you’ve done the biggest part of a project yourself, sometimes you need someone with a different eye. You get tired of seeing the problem and the more you look, the bigger it seems. Or maybe you are a big picture person and need someone detail oriented to step in.

One part of the puzzle had an image of green and orange tickets. And I was stuck. My husband walked by to see how I was coming along. He can be a bit competitive and happened to pass at just the right time to help with the orange tickets. I welcomed his help and competitive mind. It was exactly what I needed in that moment!

A while ago I met a guy at a business event. He introduced himself saying he did video. I almost left, thinking he was competition. Good thing I listened to his elevator pitch because we have been working together ever since! We each bring unique perspectives and strengths and complete each other so well. We end up producing amazing videos together!

Embrace partnerships. The right mindset can complement your own in incredible ways.

6. You can’t be #1 ALL the time

I love being at the top of my game. Sometimes I would get on a roll, fitting so many pieces together, feeling like nothing could stop me. Other times, it would take an hour just to get one piece.

But it’s ok.

When you’re on a winning streak, you’re on adrenaline. It doesn’t matter if it’s a puzzle, a marathon, or a business deal. It’s like a drug. And you cannot be on it ALL the time. Just accept that that is the way life goes. When things slow down, you get to appreciate your little successes a lot more and take time to plan for your next winning streak.

Appreciate your winnings, learn from your losses and make the most of the slow downs.

7. Go ahead… try the weird thing!

I sometimes found myself ready to give up. So much time would pass without finding a piece that fit. Then, all of a sudden, success!

All it took was trying that weird piece that looked like there was no way it would fit anywhere.

Take chances. So what if the piece doesn’t fit? At least you tried. Sometimes “the weird thing” will surprise you by just how well it fits.

I like to go to networking events to meet new clients. Certain events have such great branding, I get excited just thinking about going. Once there, the potential clients are nothing like I imagined. Yet, we fit perfectly! They need a video, I make video, and when we start working together, I realize their business is so much more interesting that I expected, and we end up making amazing things!

8. Have a vision

I once tried a puzzle without a picture to reference. You had to guess what the image would be as you assembled it. Pas evident! Needless to say, I never finished it.

With my Beatles puzzle, I could always look at the picture on the box to see if I was on the right track. It’s essential!

In life, as in business, you have to have an image in mind of what you want to accomplish. A goal. An objective. An end result you can visualize. The clearer you see it, the better your chances of achieving it. It could be a house, a job, a trip, anything. Have a clear vision to reference as you work towards it.

9. Take things one piece at a time

Too often, we look for quick fixes or magic wands. People start a Facebook business page and expect clients to pour in. They make one video and expect huge, instant results.

Life and business do not work that way. It’s consistency that creates results. It’s picking up one piece at a time, trying each one on its own, and not giving up. You cannot attack 1000 pieces at once. There is no secret technique to instantly sort them all into place.

It’s like I tell clients. You cannot create one video and expect it to solve everything. Create a series. Publish them at intervals. Post to different outlets. Try different approaches. Take it one piece at a time, consistently. If there is any “secret”, that’s it.

10. Dream big and shut out negativity

When I first started the puzzle, I had doubts. I was in love with the image and the colours (and the Beatles, of course), but was reminded again and again by those around me, and myself, that this was not a 300 or 500 piece puzzle. This was 1000 pieces!

For someone who only does one puzzle a year, that’s a lot. But who cares? I did it!

I am someone who dreams big, in all aspects of life and business. I visualize success a lot and I am an idealist. Why was I letting negativity give me doubts? Well, I shut out all that negativity – both outside and in – and I finished my puzzle.

Now? Now I have big plans for Lionzest. I know the mind works in mysterious ways. When I set my mind to something, really believe it, my mind and I make it happen. Don’t let negativity hold you back from your big dreams.

Takeaway:

I strongly believe that different experiences and activities can help you gain new perspectives and see your life and your business in a refreshing way. It allows you to approach problems with fresh eyes and tackle challenges with new motivation. What do you do that opens your eyes?

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.